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Upcoming UT opponents South Carolina, Missouri, Auburn climb in AP poll


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — November is shaping up to be nearly as hard as October for the Vols.

Future opponents Missouri and Auburn surged in the Associated Press poll released on Sunday.

Missouri (6-0, 2-0 SEC) climbed 11 spots to No. 14 after beating Georgia in Athens. The Vols play at Mizzou on Nov. 2.

Auburn (5-1, 2-1) moved into the poll at No. 24 after routing Western Carolina. The Vols host Auburn Nov. 9 at Neyland Stadium.

Tennessee (3-3, 0-2) plays No. 11 South Carolina (5-1, 3-1) on Saturday (TV: ESPN, noon) at Neyland Stadium. The Gamecocks moved up three spots after thrashing Arkansas on Saturday.

In AP poll, Vols will play 4 of top 6 teams and 5 of top 10

Relentless, banner, Haslam Field

A new banner bearing the word “Relentless” is hung from a camera tower at Haslam Field on Aug. 5, 2013. (Photo Brendan F. Quinn)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee didn’t receive a single vote in the first installment of the Associated Press Top 25, but that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

The Vols got only one vote in the coaches’ poll, which means that one voter put them at No. 25.

The AP poll no longer carries any weight in postseason matchups, but it is a solid barometer of conventional wisdom. And the rankings reinforce just how tough Tennessee’s schedule will be.

The Vols play four of the nation’s top six teams and five of the top 10.

If you’re looking for optimism, seven of Tennessee’s 12 opponents aren’t ranked at all (although Vanderbilt is among other teams receiving votes.)

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